29 May, 2013

Missha The Style Crystal Nail Polish: JBR01

I was digging around for something not purple (or red or blue...) to wear on my nails when I found an interesting little gem from Missha worth swatching.  JBR01 - Can I call this something more interesting like, say, Jackie Brown? -  is the name of today's featured polish from Korean brand Missha's The Style Crystal Nail Polish collection.

According to Missha's official website these polishes actually contain "...little crystal pearls [to] make your nails sparkle..." and are rose scented (I can't say that my nostrils noticed that!)  'Jackie Brown' is a milk chocolate shimmer polish, subtly glinting with holographic micro-glitter.  I applied two coats and omitted top coat so as not to diminish the holo effect however it still appeared on the subtle side in most light and unfortunately the sun wasn't around when I did my nails so...  I couldn't capture the full rainbow holo sparkle here.  Oh well *sigh*. 

All pictures taken in cloudy conditions:

That's it for Wednesday

27 May, 2013

Freebies and good deals (May 2013)

There's never an understated way to share the accumulation of things - in this case beauty booty - but that's what I did this month and am sharing now. Through a combination of good luck, an eye for a good deal (and my birthday thrown in) I've been spoiled and spoiled myself pretty well.  I've checked through my archives and I haven't done a bona fide haul post since February so I don't feel too obnoxious about it.

The freebies...

Red Earth Secret Potion Illuminating Skin Fluid (01 Pearl) - I won this via a Red Earth Twitter competition.  I haven't tried it yet but the Red Earth site markets this as a multi-purpose illuminator suitable for face and body and the pretty pearl shade looks promising.

Tom Ford Sahara Noir EDP sample - This complimentary sample was given out when my husband purchased my boxed set of Tom Ford nail polish.  It's an oriental-woody fragrance described as an "ode to incense".  Sahara Noir conjures up very vague recollections of YSL's oriental Opium for me but this has a much sharper, woodier note to it.  A friend spritzed this and remarked it smelt too cedary for her and she rather strongly disliked it.  I still haven't made up my mind about this one but I can see it will polarise opinions. 

MAC Matte Lipstick (Lady Danger) - This matte orange-red was My Back 2 MAC pick.  While I was ultimately happy with my choice it disappoints me that we can no longer pick from the entire lipstick range for Back 2 MAC in Australia.  I had to make my choice from a laminated card illustrating the best sellers (of which half the shades were sold out!)  In principle:  Grrrr! Snarl! @#%$!!

Tom Ford Lip Colour sample tube (Cherry Lush) - Another complimentary product my husband brought home from the TF counter.  I love my TF lipsticks and was overwhelmed by the chicness of this little sample tube.  I've been told Cherry Lush is a best-seller and after wearing it for the first time a few days ago (see my IG post here) I understand why.  I just love the clear, vibrant blue-based red.

Benefit They're Real Mascara - I attended a Benefit event a few weeks ago arranged by one of my Melbourne blogger friends Nalini aka The Made Up Maiden.  After viewing a brow shaping session (at the Benefit Brow Bar in Myer Melbourne) and a makeup demonstration using Benefit's newly released creaseless eyeshadow shades and their uber cute new Fine-one-one cheek and lip colour I walked away with a thousand lemmings. One of the lessons learned was They're Real mascara is Benefit's number 1 selling product and now I've received a complimentary tube to find out why for myself.

The good deals...

Real Techniques Core Collection - I put $26 worth of Priceline gift vouchers towards this brush set so I ended up $19 out of pocket - to put it into perspective these retail for a whopping $44.99 in Australia.  My sole interest is the much raved about buffing brush and even if that is the only brush I end up using I'll still be happy for the price.

The Body Shop Body Butter duo (Macadamia) - I thought these duo tubs were a good concept with their dual body lotion/rich body cream combos but they're being discontinued! At 50% off I grabbed a tub for my winter-parched skin.  

Revlon CustomEyes Shadow & Liner palette (Smoky Sexy) - Obviously a discontinued colour combination but I bought this wintry cool palette on a self-indulgent whim as part of a 2 for $10 deal together with the...

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Trio Eyeshadow palette (740 Fever) - I admit I wasn't impressed with a previous palette I bought from Rimmel's Glam'Eyes line but I was sucked in by the pretty lilac-pinks (and the price).  Could be nice for spring I hope??

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick (Blackberry 640) - I grabbed this gorgeous - but discontinued - cream burgundy shade for $7AUD.  I don't understand why it's been discontinued???  This is THE perfect winter lip shade and apparently a dupe for MAC's Dubonnet.  I'll view this as Revlon's loss but my gain.

I didn't have time to swatch for this post but here are the eye and lip colours viewed a little more closely:

Rimmel - 740 Fever, Revlon - Smoky Sexy

Top - Bottom:
Revlon - Blackberry 640, MAC - Lady Danger, Tom Ford - Cherry Lush

If there's anything you want to see reviewed please let me know!

Until next time...

22 May, 2013

China Glaze: Scarlet

Sometimes you just crave the classics, like a good old fashioned glossy red manicure.

Suddenly hit by a craving for red I sought out a true red cream polish and China Glaze's Scarlet was just the thing for it.  It's such a clear and bright slightly orange red. I just love how a colour like this really smacks the cold autumn/winter days in the face and it makes a classic statement too. China Glaze cream polishes always have that extra glossy, lacquer finish and the application was as smooth as glass in two coats.

Outdoors - partial sun


How do you brighten up cold days?

21 May, 2013

OPI: Casino Royale

I've really been getting into the OPI Skyfall shades of late because I think they're the epitome of autumn.

The rather classy Casino Royale was a bit of a sleeper shade for me and I initially overlooked it as I was typically distracted by all the other complex shimmers and metallics in the Skyfall collection.  Of course, once I saw Casino Royale gracing someone else's hands I saw the understated beauty of this deep, glossy polish and finally decided I had to have it.  This polish didn't disappoint either once I applied it - two coats and it really is a "magnificant maroon" on the nails as the OPI site describes it, rather like a deep wine.  I do genuinely love this colour even if it got lost in the crowd at the beginning...

All pictures were taken in cloudy daylight conditions:

That's it for now.

20 May, 2013

The Body Shop: Flavoured lip gloss tubes

I was lucky enough to win five pretty lip glosses from The Body Shop's new flavoured lip gloss range after participating in an Instagram 'Lippyaday' challenge hosted by the lovely Norlin of Melbourne style and beauty blog Baubles, Bubbles & Bags!  

After being terrified of showing my face on social media, this selfie challenge made me conquer my fears as I had to get out there and post a picture of myself wearing a different lip colour every day (or nearly every day).  Well, I'm still self-conscious but I'm still doing it because I've reasoned it's worth the "pain" to show you guys how something actually looks on my lips and against my pale complexion - winning the glosses was a wonderfully unexpected reward for taking that metaphorical plunge! Anyhow, enough of the social media therapy session.  This is not why we're here is it!

Time for some thoughts and swatches.  At first impressions these tubes remind me quite a bit of a glossy lip balm range European brand Essence included in their lineup a year or so ago.  The packaging and concept are quite similar as the tubes are tinted, fruity 'flavoured' glosses (I suppose the other obvious comparison would be with Lancome's iconic Juicy Tubes although I've surprisingly little experience with those).  That's where the comparison with the Essence glosses ends.  I found The Body Shop glosses to be surprisingly thick as you'll see in the swatches later in this post.  However they're not watery at all so they hold within the lip line very well, even when worn alone.  Thick yes, but tacky no, and they feel lovely and buttery on the lips giving a high shine, wet look to the lips.  Wear time was average so these do need regular reapplication and most of the colours I received were quite sheer worn alone but they work beautifully for layering over lip pencil or lipstick.  I've hit on a few combinations that I enjoyed and I'll share those with you as I go through the shades/flavours.

Left to Right:

Peach - This peach scented gloss has a slightly golden shimmer and is very sheer worn alone.  I layered this over Rimmel's caramel beige lipstick Undressed and it gave it a warm sheen with a very subtle shimmer.

Coconut - A pearly ivory shimmer with a rather delicious coconut scent, leaving virtually undetectable colour on my lips.  I preferred layering it over Wet n Wild's 666 Brandy Wine lip pencil for a cool nude look.  As a matter of fact I enjoyed this combination so much I wore it three days straight!

Watermelon - Watermelon scent and watermelon pink as the name says, with a barely detectable sparkle.  I wore this alone for a tiny hint of flush on my lips.  

Strawberry - A slightly warmer, more red tone than Watermelon, sans shimmer or sparkle. I thought this smelt more cherry than strawberry!  Another good shade to wear as a standalone sheer glossy tint.

Plum - The most pigmented shade in my collection and a little old fashioned too with its icy finish.  Again, this scent fooled my senses as I thought it was more grape than plum - but what does plum really smell like?  This cool, almost frosty blue-toned pink reminds me of the lip colours I favoured in my twenties.  I still think it has its place in my lip wardrobe though.

Swatched in same order as above:

What are your thoughts on flavoured lip gloss tubes?

19 May, 2013

Bloom: Claudia

Happy Sunday - the sun has actually been shining around here today too!

I went stash diving a few weeks ago for an autumn-appropriate pink and Claudia from Australian beauty brand Bloom is what I came up with.  The Bloom website describes this as "a carmine" and I see it as a deep pink cream with just a kiss of coral to give it some warmth.  It's bright but not in your face so it's a good everyday pink and work appropriate.  The standard two coats was enough to provide good coverage and as per usual I topped it with fast drying top coat for added shine and durability.  I have a few Bloom polishes floating around in my collection and I think I need to show them some more love really.  Anyway, onto the pictures of this Bloom polish that I am showing my love for...


Indirect daylight indoors

Have you tried Bloom's nail polish or cosmetics?

Until next time

15 May, 2013

OPI: Live And Let Die

Today's dark polish is perfect for the change of season down here - winter seems to have arrived early - and is yet another sophisticated star from the OPI Skyfall collection.  I've loved every shade I've swatched so far and this one is no different.

The rather unusual Live And Let Die is described by OPI as "private jet black".  How can I describe this better for my understanding anyway?  I look at this dark complex polish as an almost murky blackened green with tiny golden flecks glimmering subtly in the mix.  Dark and mysterious this one is...



That's it for tonight

13 May, 2013

Birthday gift: Tom Ford Nail Lacquer Set

I received the most unexpected, clever and glamorous birthday present from my husband a few days ago:  a hand selected collection of Tom Ford nail polish!  True to form he'd done his research and knew this was something I didn't have but very much wanted to try.  Using my blog as a reference point (this is what he told me) he and the Tom Ford SA decided on a selection of nail polish shades they thought I'd like.  They did pretty darn well too I have to say.  

As I said this was totally unexpected so when I unwrapped and held the weighty brown box embellished with Tom Ford on its lid I literally had no idea at all as to what was inside.  The mystery box (covered with my fingerprints I now notice)...

...was opened to reveal four bottles of Tom Ford nail lacquer. I gasped, squealed and had to cover my mouth - I'm serious.  I still get excited like a little girl when I'm surprised by luxe gifts, especially when they're luxury beauty gifts presented as beautifully as this!

Taking a closer look the choices were very thoughtful, taking into account my love of purple obviously, and my love of orange.

Left to Right:
Ginger Fire, African Violet, Bordeaux Lust, Viper

Ginger Fire - is a vibrant red-toned orange with the slightest golden shimmer (the fire perhaps?) which only reveals itself in bright sunlight.  This was the surprise shade of the selection.
African Violet - a magenta-purple cream.
Bordeaux Lust - this deep brown-red cream reminds me of dried blood.  Very vampy.
Viper - Dark aubergine cream. Even vampier. I'm going to feel slightly dangerous wearing this shade.

The swatches (in same order as above): 

I can see myself wearing all of these so at this point don't ask me what my favourite shade is - yet!

12 May, 2013

EOTD: ModelCo Island Fever trio palette

I've been playing it safe with eye looks lately so I haven't done anything post-worthy for a while but finally(!) I've broken out of my neutral rut.  I got an interesting eyeshadow trio from Australian beauty brand ModelCo in a promotional show bag I bought at the Royal Melbourne Show last year and now I've decided to break it out of its box and play with some serious colour on my eyes!

As this look is based almost entirely on the ModelCo Eyeshadow Trio palette in Island Fever I've taken the opportunity to do a mini review of this palette before getting into the details of my EOTD look.

 Island Fever

The Island Fever palette is made up of a colourful combination of two shimmers and a darker matte shade. From left these are:  Costa Rica (a neutral beige shimmer which is something I personally can't be without in my makeup collection), Positano (a vivid turquoise shimmer which was the shade I was the most intrigued by and I guess nervous about) and Tahiti (described as matte midnight navy, perfect for use as a liner or to create a deep blue smokey eye).  You can see how the interesting mix of shades offers the choice of playing it safe and neutral with a just a hint of colour accent or going all out with a deep, yet vivid smokey eye.

When doing the initial swatching I was impressed with the smooth application of these shadows, the lack of fallout and the depth of pigment, particularly that of matte Tahiti.  These swatches are two swipes on bare skin.

Swatched from top:
Costa Rica, Positano, Tahiti

My play it safe instincts would have me immediately going for a neutral beige eye using the dark matte shade as a coloured liner but I opted to make Positano the focus of my look, and applied it all over my lids while incorporating the other two shades for highlight and definition.  It's not something I'd automatically choose to wear but I did like the way the turquoise Positano seemed to brighten my eyes:

What I applied and where:
  • Bloom Eye Base blended all over lid and crease
  • Positano brushed all over lid and blended in crease. I also used it as a coloured liner on the inner third of the lower lash line
  • Costa Rica on inner corner of lids and brushed lightly over browbones
  • Tahiti on outer corners of lids and outer lower lash line
  • Mirenesse Tight Liner Hydra Gel Eye Liner (Caviar Black) drawn all along the upper lash line for definition, with Tahiti applied over it with a pencil brush to soften the line
  • Bourjois Volume Glamour Ultra Curl Mascara (Black) on upper lashes and outer lower lashes

Have you tried ModelCo products?

10 May, 2013

Face of Australia: Castle on a Cloud

It feels like I'm showcasing the many moods of nail polish at the moment.  I've gone from fierce and edgy, to cute and fun, and now to subdued.

Castle on a Cloud is one of the last shades I have to show you from Face of Australia's Summer 2012 Pastel collection (I think I have one more somewhere???).  Anyway I was fully expecting to be bored by this shade - and honestly that's why I hadn't worn it until recently - but I ended up quite liking it because it isn't a straight grey as it first appears but it has a rather feminine lavender undertone, and it has the slightest hint of shimmer.  Who knew that grey could actually be pretty? No - Don't answer that! I know, I know...

This is the usual two coats with top coat and again this FOA polish gave wonderful opaque coverage for a pastel.


Partial sun

Full sun

Do you like edgy, cute or subdued manicures or do you like to mix it up like me?

09 May, 2013

w7: Lava Flow

I'm now finally venturing into the milky-glitter polish experience!

A little while ago I bought a small bundle of w7 polishes because:  they were cute;  I'd never tried w7 before;  and they were very cheap at $2.99AUD a bottle.  w7 is a UK budget beauty brand and I'm keeping within my comfort zone of trying their nail polish range first.   Lava Flow is from w7's Sprinkle range and is a milky white polish sprinkled (obviously) with a smattering of red and dark blue glitter.  I applied two easy coats and then fell in love with this fun manicure.  My last posted mani was described as "fierce" - well this one is just plain fun!



Until next time!

08 May, 2013

April's farewelled products (2013 edition)

My empties posts are getting later and later each month.  Here's hoping I post my May empties before the end of June!  I'll try not to ramble too much this month because I have quite a few products that bit the dust as you'll see...

Skin care

30) Australis 3 in 1 wipes make-up remover (25 wipes) - So these are soap, alcohol and fragrance free and infused with aloe vera and chamomile but...they were dry! Someone tell me I bought a dud package (please!) because otherwise I'll tell you these are uselessly dry - except for the last 2 or 3 wipes at the bottom of the pack.  I resorted to wetting them to get some use out of them.  Repurchase? A resounding NO.

31) Maybelline Express Care Eye & Lip Makeup Remover (90ml) - Inexpensive, gentle and reliable at removing my makeup but this was the last bottle I'll use in this particular formula.  Maybelline have recently released a new reformulated and repackaged version which I'm using now.

32) Avene Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser (200ml/6.76 fl.oz) - This cleansing gel is targeted at cleansing oily, blemish-prone skin but I found it very gentle at cleansing my combination/occasionally dry skin during my morning shower.  As far as cleansing gels go this rinsed off very quickly and easily too.  Loved it. 

Hand and body care

33) Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Hand Therapy (25g/0.9 oz) - This hand cream smells literally of rose petals and feels richly moisturising without being greasy.  A gorgeously soothing product for winter-parched hands with my favourite magic ingredient included:  Shea butter! 

34) China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat (14ml/.5 fl.oz) - Dries my nails in a few minutes without dissolving the colour beneath.  One gripe? You can tell when it's getting too thick and old because it can wrinkle your manicure.

35) OPI Original Polish Remover (120ml - 4 fl.oz) - I've been mixing it up a bit of late but this is my nail polish remover of choice.

36) Vaseline Total Moisture Aloe Fresh Daily Light Lotion SPF 15 (200ml) - Great concept with the built-in SPF but terrible formula! The thick white lotion took an eternity to rub in to my skin and I don't have the time or patience for spending minutes on body moisturising in the morning.  I have SPF 30 products which absorb in less than half the time so I won't be buying this any time soon.

37) The Body Shop Chocomania Body Scrub (200ml/7.75 oz) - This indulged my chocolate-loving senses in the shower! I love how it exfoliates and moisturises the skin at the same time and I have bought another tub already.  Be warned - you might have to clean the shower afterwards - but it will smell delicious!

Hair care

38) L'Oreal Volume Expand Volumising Root Lift Spray (125ml/4.2 fl. oz) - The only product I use for my fine hair is a root lift spray for volume without any crunch.  I use 4 quick sprays on my damp hair before I dry it, then blow-dry and - Voila!  I look like I have more hair!  I used this bottle daily and it lasted months and months.  Yes, I have bought another bottle.  


39) theBalm Sexy Mama anti-shine, translucent powder (7.08g/0.25 oz) - I did a full review of this powder when I bought it last year (here). I was a little on the fence about it at that time but I love how natural and lightweight this powder was on my skin and considering I used it daily it lasted a very long time.  A good value mattifying powder and after finishing it I can now say I would buy it again.

40) MAC Powerpoint Eyeliner Pencil (Duck) - This was the perfect brown-grey hybrid pencil.  If I didn't have such a glut of eyeliner pencils I would definitely repurchase.

That's it for the latest empties!  

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